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UAE leaders receive congratulatory messages onUAE’s 50th National Day

ABU DHABI, 1st December, 2021 (WAM) — President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has received cables of congratulations from kings, presidents and emirs of brotherly and friendly countries on the UAE's 50th National Day.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received similar greetings on the occasion.

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Battles rage at Sudan’s military facility site


Sudanese army soldiers and paramilitaries fought for control of a military facility Thursday in Khartoum where a fire raged at an oil and gas facility, witnesses said.
The battles came a day after the powerful paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) announced in a statement they had wrestled “full control" of the Yarmouk weapons manufacturing and arms depot complex.
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Witnesses speaking to AFP from southern Khartoum said they heard the “sound of gunfire and clashes” around the complex, the most important military industrial facility in the country.
The RSF claimed that soldiers had fled the site, leaving behind large quantities of military equipment and vehicles.
The paramilitaries also posted videos online purportedly showing their fighters inside the facility, celebrating. Weapons, including machine guns, and large quantities of ammunition could be seen in the background.
Sudan has been embroiled in a deadly conflict since mid-April, when fighting erupted between army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan against his former deputy Mohamed Hamdan Daglo — commonly known as Hemedti– who commands the RSF.
Violence has spread across the country, most notably in the western region of Darfur, which is home to around a quarter of Sudan’s population and has never recovered from a devastating two-decade war that left hundreds of thousands dead and more than two million displaced.
The fire at the al-Shajara oil and gas facility near Yarmouk broke out overnight Wednesday to Thursday, witnesses said.
It was not immediately clear what started the fire but residents said they heard a loud explosion at the facility, around which fierce fighting has been underway for the past couple of days.
Plumes of smoke still rose from the site on Thursday morning and could be seen from as far as 10 kilometers (six miles) away.
Since fighting broke out in Sudan on April 15, more than 1,800 people have been killed, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.
Nearly two million people have been displaced by the conflict, according to the latest UN figures, including 476,000 who have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
Talks mediated by Saudi Arabia and the United States broke down, and multiple ceasefires have failed to take hold.
Last week, Washington slapped sanctions on the warring generals accusing both sides for the “appalling bloodshed” after the latest truce collapsed and the army pulled out of ceasefire talks altogether.
In October 2012, Sudan accused Israel of being behind a blast at the Yarmouk facility, leading to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured there.
Israel at that time refused to comment on Sudan’s accusation.
Read more:
Sudan: 280 children and 70 caretakers from combat-stricken Khartoum orphanage rescued
Saudi Arabia condemns attack on its embassy in Sudan
Sudan’s warring sides remain in Jeddah despite end of ceasefire: Saudi FM statement

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Russia has no access to damaged Togliatti-Odesa pipeline: Reports


Russian Industry and Trade minister Denis Manturov said on Thursday that Moscow has no access to the damaged part of the Togliatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline, and does not expect to be granted it, the Interfax news agency reported.

Russia has made the restart of the pipeline, which before the war carried ammonia from Russia to Ukraine for export, central to future renewal of a deal allowing Ukraine to export its grain safely from its Black Sea ports.

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Both Russia and Ukraine this week reported damage to a section of the pipeline that runs through the front line between Russian and Ukrainian forces in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region. The two sides have blamed each other.

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Ukraine blew up key ammonia pipeline, says Russia

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Black Sea grain corridor has not yet resumed operations: Ukrainian official

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EU launches new effort to resolve longstanding migrant crisis


European Union interior ministers on Thursday made a fresh attempt to overcome one of the bloc’s most intractable political problems as they weighed new measures for sharing out responsibility for migrants entering Europe without authorization.

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Europe’s asylum system collapsed eight years ago after well over a million people entered – most of them fleeing conflict in Syria – and overwhelmed reception capacities in Greece and Italy, in the process sparking one of the EU’s biggest political crises.

The 27 EU nations have bickered ever since over which countries should take responsibility for people arriving without authorization, and whether other members should be obliged to help them cope.

Arriving for the meeting in Luxembourg, the EU’s top migration official, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said it was an “extremely important day” to resolve what has “been a marathon” issue for Europe.

“Of this marathon, we have maybe 100 meters left. So, we are so close to actually find an agreement today,” Johansson said. “I expect the member states to be able to do the final extra meters to reach the agreement.”

“If we are not united, we are all losers,” she said.

Under the existing rules, countries where migrants first arrive must interview and screen them and process the applications of those who might want to apply for asylum. But Greece, Italy and Malta maintain that the burden of managing the numbers of people coming in is too onerous.

Later attempts to impose quota systems on countries to share out the migrants were challenged in court and finally abandoned. EU countries now seem to agree that the assistance they provide must be mandatory but can take the form of financial and other help rather than migration sharing schemes.

The EU’s presidency, currently held by Sweden, has proposed a system under which countries who do not want to take migrants in could pay money instead. Figures of around 20,000 euros ($21,400) per migrant have circulated in the runup to the meeting. It remains unclear if the idea will be accepted.

Diplomats said ahead of the meeting that an agreement is only likely if big member countries France, Germany and Italy back the plan. A deal requires the support of a “qualified majority” – roughly two thirds of the 27 members but crucially also making up about two thirds of the EU population.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the compromise on the table “is very difficult for us.” She said that “I am fighting for us to have a Europe of open borders,” and warned that “should we fail today … that would be the wrong signal.”

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters that he had come with compromise proposals and that plenty of work remains to be done on what is a “very difficult” issue.

“What we want to do is completely change the situation on migration,” Darmanin said.

His Spanish counterpart, Fernando Grande-Marlaska – whose country has struggled to deal with an influx of people trying to enter from North Africa through Spanish islands in the Atlantic – warned that “if we don’t reach that agreement, I think that all of us will be losers.”

Even if a political agreement is reached Thursday, the member countries must still negotiate a full deal with the European Parliament, which has a different view of solidarity – one that requires countries to draw up detailed “annual migrant support plans” in case of emergency.

Lawmakers have warned that this is a last chance to solve the conundrum before EU-wide elections in a year, when migration is likely once again to be a hot-button issue.

Should the EU fail, the project might have to be abandoned or completely overhauled as it’s taken up by the next European Commission – the bloc’s executive branch – and the new members of parliament after next June’s polls.

“If we miss this chance to make it right, I don’t think we will have another,” Spanish Socialist lawmaker Juan Fernando López Aguilar, a leader on migration policy, said in April. “The kind of a message would be: ‘Hey, listen, it’s not going to happen. Not this time. Ever.’

The long-festering dispute has led to the collapse of Europe's asylum system. Unable to agree, the EU has tried to outsource its migrant challenge, making legally and morally questionable deals with countries like Turkey or Libya, which many people transit through on their way to Europe.

Read more:

EU data authority warns Frontex of action over migrant interview breaches

EU lawmakers give greenlight to migration plan

EU asylum seekers on the rise, even without Ukraine’s 3.4 mln refugees

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